Two men capped a four-day drug and alcohol abuse by jumping into an Uber and breaking into a stranger’s house while armed with a butane gas torch before using to new carpool app to go.
Daniel Heaven and Patrick Iaulualo broke down the door of a house in Carrum Downs in suburban Melbourne in the middle of the night in October 2020.
The owner was able to briefly fend them off with a baseball bat before the pair snapped a second time and assaulted him, then again used Uber to leave the area.
Heaven, 32, and Iaulualo, 28, faced Victoria County Court on Thursday, where they both pleaded guilty to home invasion and common law assault.
“I have never feared for my life as I have since that event,” victim Paul Betteridge said in a statement.
“It was the most traumatic experience of my life. I haven’t slept properly since. It upset me.”
It remains unclear how Heaven and Iaulualo settled on Mr Betteridge’s address when ordering the Uber and there is no evidence they knew him, the court heard.
“It’s not a fancy way to get to a crime scene,” Judge Paul Lacava said.
“This may reflect their level of sobriety at the time,” replied prosecutor Daniel Porceddu.
Heaven’s attorney, Brett Tait, said his client joined Iaulualo, who was armed with a butane gas torch, in the ill-conceived plot after several days of heavy drug and alcohol use.
“An old demon reared its ugly head,” Mr Tait said.
Another man, Jacques Dalais, was charged with aggravated burglary following the incident.
Heaven, Iaulualo and Dalais will return to court at a later date.
Australian Associated Press